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Do Buddhists believe in miracles?

Do you probably think that stones can be turned into bread and the dead can rise, not as ghosts of course, but as humans or perhaps an image of Buddha can be formed magically on a shroud?

Comments

  • I think anything can be done.
  • According to Buddhism this whole world is a construction.

    If one were to play with the causes and conditions then anything is possible.

    Say like the series of tubes we call the internet.

    Miracles are everywhere. Walk around. Basically anything you see is a miracle.

    And if you don't see it as such, question that.
    footiamlobstercvalueAllbuddhaBound
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Yes and no. Do I believe things we cannot comprehend at this point happen? Absolutely. Do I believe that makes them "miracles" because we lack the understanding to grasp their cause? Not really. Someone from 500 years ago looking to today, would think things we do are miracles. But they aren't, we just have a better understanding of how to make things work (such as space flight). We seem to tend to believe we understanding everything and that which we don't has to be a miracle, but that's not the case.

    I just finished reading "Buddha" by Deepak Chopra, which I really enjoyed. It is, of course, a story telling account of Buddha's life but Deepak has a good understanding of such topics and the parts where he talks about various "miracles" of Buddha is explained pretty well and I really enjoyed how he explained it.
  • zenffzenff Veteran
    edited November 2012
    Miracles? Sure; here are a few
    http://www.einterface.net/gamini/buddhist.html

    I love the miracle of Kyaik Tiyo in Burma; the Golden Rock.

    "In Myanmar all miracles have to do with Buddhism. The story is that some of the Buddha’s hairs are contained inside of the rock and that the rock remains in place be the power of the Buddha. Once upon a time, there were some non-Buddhists who tried to push the rock off the cliff in order to undermine people’s faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, but they were turned into monkeys. That’ll show them! In an inspiring, hopefully not foolhardy, display of faith, there is now a nunnery directly below the rock, exactly at the point of first bounce."

    http://bhikkhucintita.wordpress.com/home/venerable-cintita/through-the-looking-glass-biographical/burmese-miracle-stories/
  • And of course the champion is the Buddha himself:

    The Mahajima Nikaya states that Buddha had more superpowers than any other being including being able to walk on water which is further verified in the Angutara Nikaya. Buddha could multiply into a million and then return, he could travel through space, he could make himself as big as a giant and then as small as an ant, walk through mountains, he could dive in and out of the earth, he could travel to Heavens to school the Gods and return to earth.

    Other miracles and powers that Gautama Buddha is alleged to have possessed and exercised include Iddhi, Telepathy, super-hearing, divine seeing, and seeing past lives. These are described in the Mahasihanada Sutta and other suttas in the pali canon.[4]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracles_of_Gautama_Buddha
    Here’s another list:

    Iddhi is a Buddhist term that refers to supernormal powers. These powers are physical, as opposed to mental (knowing the minds of others, etc...). These iddhis are mentioned throughout the pali canonical scripture.
    The Buddhist Pali canons describe the following as iddhi powers: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]
    • Multiplying the body into many bodies, then collapsing it into one again
    • Vanishing and appearing at will (invisibility)
    • Passing through solid objects as if through space (intangibility)
    • Rising and sinking in the ground as if in the water
    • Walking on water as if on land
    • Flying
    • Touching anything at any distance (e.g. the moon or sun)
    • Traveling to other worlds (like the world of Brahma) with or without the body
    • Teleporting
    In one Buddhist scripture, it is stated that an ascetic came to Buddha and said, "I have practiced austerities for 20 years and now I can levitate across the river". Buddha replied, "Why bother when the ferry fare is only one penny?"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iddhi
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    One could possibly say that animals are far more in tune to things we don't understand (such as knowing when an earthquake or tsunami is on the way when we don't) and that they can pick up on the awesome energy of such gatherings. I think there is a lot that goes on with energy forces that we're only beginning to glimpse, and like I said, just because we don't understand it doesn't make it a miracle (imo). I believe in miracles, as far as that, if that is what we want to call them. I don't believe that there are people who can do things because they have been blessed by God or another divinity, however.
  • howhow Veteran
    edited November 2012
    An event that appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so is held to be supernatural in origin or an act of God just says to me that our knowledge of the laws of nature are incomplete.
    I believe that a miracle is just a sign that life is much wider than we presently know of.
    As a Buddhist, I am not sure where that leaves a Belief or a miracle.
    person
  • Birds and their circumambulations . . . :clap:
    I saw a bird circle a small stupa, just after a scarf was placed around the stupa, at the end of a ceremony. The behaviour was most contrary. Seen a small bird come for refuge in a temple. Unusual. Seen animals totally placated and out in the open without fear, due to a previous 'higher mind state' visitor; Disney would be proud. If I was less of a heretic I would most certainly see more. This is most certain. Most true. Shit happens.
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran
    edited November 2012
    My mom was grieving her sisters death. Before her sister died she was given sunflowers at her friends party for her. She always loved sunflowers and she had the greatest time at her 'last party'. Then she had her last steps in her battle against cancer and at her funeral there were sunflowers.

    Two years ago along our driveway a whole row of sunflowers grew up. She did not plant them. I wondered if I did as I was stuck in drinking and planted birdseed when I was drinking, but I don't think so and they looked like real sunflower plants; could those specimens have come from birdseed?

    Anyhow we believe that it was a miracle to let us know that my aunt is watching over us. I believe it in the sense of wonder but not in the sense of being sure in such a miracle; I really don't know but I open to the joy of such a gift.

    Photobucket
    lobstercvalue
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    Here's the indisputable concrete evidence.

    :buck:
  • jlljll Veteran
    how do you define a miracle?
    if it is not an illusion, it is a fact.
    tibetan monks who practise tumo, can dry wet towels in sub zero conditions.
    is that a miracle?

    kriss angel can go thru a blender, is that a miracle?

    there are no miracles.
    there a facts n illusions.
    miracles are just things that can be done but we cant explain how it is done.
    footiam said:

    Do you probably think that stones can be turned into bread and the dead can rise, not as ghosts of course, but as humans or perhaps an image of Buddha can be formed magically on a shroud?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think 'Merica! Veteran
    edited November 2012
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    There have been some events in my life that defy explanation. But I don't know if that makes them a miracle. I think it is more that they remain unexplained.

    I suppose miracles are possible, but I doubt if they are probably.
    I cannot say for sure that the are IMpossible.

    There's so much I just do not know.
    And belief is not knowledge.
  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran
    Jeffrey said:

    My mom was grieving her sisters death. Before her sister died she was given sunflowers at her friends party for her. She always loved sunflowers and she had the greatest time at her 'last party'. Then she had her last steps in her battle against cancer and at her funeral there were sunflowers.

    Two years ago along our driveway a whole row of sunflowers grew up. She did not plant them. I wondered if I did as I was stuck in drinking and planted birdseed when I was drinking, but I don't think so and they looked like real sunflower plants; could those specimens have come from birdseed?

    Anyhow we believe that it was a miracle to let us know that my aunt is watching over us. I believe it in the sense of wonder but not in the sense of being sure in such a miracle; I really don't know but I open to the joy of such a gift.

    Photobucket

    I love the way these happen in life. The speak to us so deeply yet with such humor and love.

    Although .. yes, birdseed often DOES contain sunflower seeds. Birds love sunflower seeds. Hope I didn't spoil it for you!

  • Yes but they were all in a neat row. My mom tried planting them again (I don't know what seed) but they did not take. Still, the mom's happy and so am I :) Isn't that a miracle? :)
    MaryAnnecvalue
  • Still, the mom's happy and so am I Isn't that a miracle?
    In this day and kali yuga age it is practically an epithany.
    As we all know birds circle buildings to get height from the tumo powered convection currents. Patterns emerge and animals are effected by the emotional state of those around them . . . Sunflowers can do maths
    http://www.popmath.org.uk/rpamaths/rpampages/sunflower.html

    I even had two beans stalks that talked to each other. One developed black fly and these attracted ladybirds to the feast. An enjoining stalk wishing to be visited by ladybugs, developed small black dots on its leaves. The ladybugs came and danced for a while . . .
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    In my honest opinion, I don't think those things happened as described.

    I mean... Why would Buddha need to fly?

    Why would he have to put on some kind of show when the dharma speaks for itself?

    Miracles come and miracles go... We're on a ball of earth, spinning through the cosmos with seemingly increasing speed. Talk about a miracle!

    Everything is a miracle.

    But that also makes miracles mundane...

    Buddha didn't want to be put out of reach so why would he bother trying to fly?
  • The birdfeeder is 15 feet from a backyard gate. Then another 10 feet across the driveway and they were in a neat row with no gaps. If it was the squirrels or birds they sure had a green thumb. :eek:
  • BrianBrian Detroit, MI Moderator
    "Do Buddhists believe..." should actually be, "Does anybody believe..." because Buddhist "beliefs" are not necessarily codified, and are very much personal by nature.

    That said, no, I don't believe in miracles or mysticism.
    vinlyn
  • I think anything can be done.

    Something ought not to be done.
    lobster
  • I mean... Why would Buddha need to fly?
    To bypass airport security
    :o
    JeffreycvaluepoptartAllbuddhaBound
  • taiyaki said:

    According to Buddhism this whole world is a construction.

    If one were to play with the causes and conditions then anything is possible.

    Say like the series of tubes we call the internet.

    Miracles are everywhere. Walk around. Basically anything you see is a miracle.

    And if you don't see it as such, question that.

    Everything we don't see is also a miracle! Can you imagine that a glass of water may have a million organisms in it? That would be a miracle, don't you think?
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    lobster said:

    I mean... Why would Buddha need to fly?
    To bypass airport security
    :o

    What were you saying the other day about bunkum?

    :D
    lobster
  • footiam said:

    Do you probably think that stones can be turned into bread and the dead can rise, not as ghosts of course, but as humans or perhaps an image of Buddha can be formed magically on a shroud?

    @footiam, when in doubt I turn to the dictionary for a definition...

    Miracle:

    1. A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.

    2. A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.

    To number 1. I say say no, no matter what the spiritual persuasion. If someone feels it's necessary to perform "miracles" to convince people of the validity of their message of peace, love, whatever, then it points to a weakness in the message, the messenger or the audience (or all three). I think your use of the word "magically" says it all. Buy your snake oil here.

    To number 2. I say yes, because highly improbable does not equate to divine. I'm thinking of the film "The Miracle Worker", the one about how the deaf-mute Helen Keller was taught to speak. A highly improbable event for the time, never seen before, a miracle to those involved.

    I think there may be things called miracles, unexplainable events, that become understood at a later time when human knowledge catches up with them.
  • Would the following qualify as miracle?:

    - Talking to someone thousands of miles away as if he was just beside you (cellphone)
    - A heavy metal object weighing tons (plane) flying like a butterfly
    - Someone who was supposed to have died from a cancer somehow became free of the disease
    - Dolly the 1st sheep to be conceived without sex
  • Do you probably think that stones can be turned into bread and the dead can rise, not as ghosts of course, but as humans or perhaps an image of Buddha can be formed magically on a shroud?
    Some people do rise from the 'Lazarus effect' (a known condition)
    This situation . . .
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/620609.stm
    . . . is now creating a new post mortem resuscitation medical program . . .

    Turning stones into bread? Why not go to the bakery?
    The shroud of Turin is a medieval forgery.

    Flying gurus would instantly produce verification for teachings to transcend and overcome suffering. They don't fly. I wonder why?

    :wave:
  • footiam said:

    I think anything can be done.

    Something ought not to be done.
    UNDO IT!!!! AHHHHHH


    :)
  • Sure, most Buddhists in the world believe in miracles. It's unavoidable. They're just people and miracles accumulate around religions like flies around a kitchen. Stories of special powers and unusual events always spring up around sacred spots and people. Then we have the typical Buddhist buying a "lucky charm" that will help them win the lottery.

    But unlike other religions, miracles are seen as a side-effect at most and not particularly important overall. For some schools of Buddhism, focus on miraculous powers and events is even seen as a distraction and trap to people trying to learn the Dharma.




    cvalue
  • Depends what sort "Buddhists" you ask. Buddhists who has taken refuge, taken the precepts and follow Monastic teachers tend to believe that the Buddha has obtained annutara samyak sambodhi, hence have perform unthinkablly amazing deeds.

  • taiyaki said:

    According to Buddhism this whole world is a construction.

    If one were to play with the causes and conditions then anything is possible.

    Say like the series of tubes we call the internet.

    Miracles are everywhere. Walk around. Basically anything you see is a miracle.

    And if you don't see it as such, question that.

    The thing is we prefer to see the thing we can't see.
    lobster
  • Rodrigo said:

    taiyaki said:

    Miracles are everywhere. Walk around. Basically anything you see is a miracle.

    Thich Nhat Hahn says something like the miracle is not to walk on water, but to walk on earth.
    I suppose a miracle is able to walk at all. Fish for example, can't walk.
  • No I do not believe in miracles, but I do believe in the potential inherent within us and the universe, so I believe in the miraculous but not in miracles.
    We live in a universe of cause and effect, so for every effect there must be a cause (force) making it happen. However there has been some interesting developments in quantum Physics, relating to how knowledge is fundamental to our existence and that of the physical universe, through experiments with sub atomic particles. So the science of existence and the Cosmos on the quantum level reveals a miraculous world (our Earth) where consciousness and life exists within a universe of matter and anti matter, where it seems knowledge has a vital part to play.
  • lobster said:


    Turning stones into bread? Why not go to the bakery?

    If you go the bakery you have to part with money. :p
  • Jeffrey said:

    My mom was grieving her sisters death. Before her sister died she was given sunflowers at her friends party for her. She always loved sunflowers and she had the greatest time at her 'last party'. Then she had her last steps in her battle against cancer and at her funeral there were sunflowers.

    Two years ago along our driveway a whole row of sunflowers grew up. She did not plant them. I wondered if I did as I was stuck in drinking and planted birdseed when I was drinking, but I don't think so and they looked like real sunflower plants; could those specimens have come from birdseed?

    Anyhow we believe that it was a miracle to let us know that my aunt is watching over us. I believe it in the sense of wonder but not in the sense of being sure in such a miracle; I really don't know but I open to the joy of such a gift.

    Photobucket

    alot of bird seed have sunflower seeds in them.
  • Sunflowers and aunties are miracles. Here are some I grew this year.
    The OP is really talking about exceptional or 'spooky' stuff . . . but you plant a seed and a flower grows, not a miracle? You guys are hard to please . . .
    And yes those sunflowers are my relatives . . . :rolleyes:
  • miracles do happen. whether youre a buddhist, a catholic, or a muslim. whether youre a believer of miracles or youre not. Miracles wouldnt judge one by their beliefs in what ever diety they are into. Miracles will happen when one least expects it. :thumbsup:
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    Of course I believe in miracles; any and every time I watch a nature programme and David Attenborough reveals some mind-boggling information about 'this' plant, or 'that' fish, I never cease to be amazed at the astonisihng diversity of Life around us. Not forgetting of course, that every single human being is a walking miracle, functioning every day in a way we never think about or notice, realise or are aware of....

    Think of everything your vital organs are doing to keep you alive and upright - on their own, with no conscious deliberation, input or influence from you - ; then you'll know and appreciate what a wondrous miracle you actually are.
  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    We don't have to go beyond the ordinary to find miracles.
  • footiamfootiam Veteran
    edited October 2013
    zenff said:

    And of course the champion is the Buddha himself:


    The Mahajima Nikaya states that Buddha had more superpowers than any other being including being able to walk on water which is further verified in the Angutara Nikaya. Buddha could multiply into a million and then return, he could travel through space, he could make himself as big as a giant and then as small as an ant, walk through mountains, he could dive in and out of the earth, he could travel to Heavens to school the Gods and return to earth.

    Other miracles and powers that Gautama Buddha is alleged to have possessed and exercised include Iddhi, Telepathy, super-hearing, divine seeing, and seeing past lives. These are described in the Mahasihanada Sutta and other suttas in the pali canon.[4]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracles_of_Gautama_Buddha
    Here’s another list:

    Iddhi is a Buddhist term that refers to supernormal powers. These powers are physical, as opposed to mental (knowing the minds of others, etc...). These iddhis are mentioned throughout the pali canonical scripture.
    The Buddhist Pali canons describe the following as iddhi powers: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17]
    • Multiplying the body into many bodies, then collapsing it into one again
    • Vanishing and appearing at will (invisibility)
    • Passing through solid objects as if through space (intangibility)
    • Rising and sinking in the ground as if in the water
    • Walking on water as if on land
    • Flying
    • Touching anything at any distance (e.g. the moon or sun)
    • Traveling to other worlds (like the world of Brahma) with or without the body
    • Teleporting
    In one Buddhist scripture, it is stated that an ascetic came to Buddha and said, "I have practiced austerities for 20 years and now I can levitate across the river". Buddha replied, "Why bother when the ferry fare is only one penny?"
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iddhi
    Many of the miracles here including, multiplying the body into many bodies, vanishing, passing through solid objects etc, I have seen in Chinese ghost movies. Normally, it is the ghosts performing these acts. I suppose they are not as great as keeping the precepts. It would be a miracle if we could keep it everyday.
  • person said:

    I believe in miracles, having been witness to a minor one myself.

    I was attending the spring teachings of HHDL in 1998 and when a flock of birds flew overhead and then right over the main throne room where HHDL was at the time, they stopped and did 3 circumambulations before heading off in the same direction they were traveling in before.

    I guess the skeptical argument is that birds will randomly stop over a religious gathering and circle three times every now and again. If I hadn't been there and seen it with my own eyes and see everyone else react in astonishment I don't know that I'd believe it myself.

    I haven't seen that before. So, I suppose I am skeptical.
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